“If the politicians and the scientists, or both working together, cannot save us, perhaps those less practical friends and aiders of those who would live in the spirit, the poets, can provide us with a vision we can trust and live with?” ~ Hyatt H. Waggoner (Visionary Poetry: Learning to See, 1981)
Happy True Blue Year!
Yes, we’re going blue again in 2020, hopefully a year marked by truth and clarity. With 20/20 vision, we must resolve to see things as they really are by taking a good look at the facts and focusing on what is truly important for our survival as citizens and human beings.
In previous years, we made progress with THINK BLUE and BELIEVE IN BLUE. We now have a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, and in 2019, Virginia turned blue and you-know-who was impeached. Step by step. In this all-important Presidential election year, we must take blue to the finish line. 🙂
Ahem. I suppose you know what the Pantone color of the year is:
Here is why Classic Blue was selected:
We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on . . . Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.
~ Leatrice Eisman (Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute)
Just perfect! An anchor, a color of constancy, one we can rely on that will remind us to be big sky thinkers. Precisely the color we need this year.
TRUE BLUE = Steadfast in our convictions, loyal to flag and country, supportive of loved ones, trustworthy, a friend to those in need, true to our authentic selves, champion of beauty and creativity.
We’re especially delighted to kick things off with a trio of “blue” poems by Barbara Crooker.
Several times we’ve welcomed the new year with her poems; it’s good luck, and she’s definitely someone who, poem after poem, inspires us “with a vision we can trust and live with.” It’s the color blue, she seems to say, that embodies hope and happiness. Life not quite what you want it to be? Feel free to improvise. 🙂
Dull morning, dove-colored sky, black trees.
Winter at its most monochrome. Months
until spring; don’t even think about it. Then
squawk, there’s a jay, a pure blue verb
landing on the feeder. And suddenly, you see
delphiniums, larkspur, hydrangeas.
And suddenly, even sorrow is bearable.
MANET AND THE SEA
title of an exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum
Who cares about those convicts rowing a path in the moonlight?
It’s the water we want to look at, taking its own sweet time
as it steps up to the microphone to solo, an improvisation in blue:
Ohio match tips, mouthwash, flax fields in France.
The moon, once in a while.
The moon, where I saw you standing alone.
The moon, forme d’Ambert, Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola.
Speedwell, rosemary, chicory, plum.
Skies, smiling at me. The wild yonder.
Something about a Monday. Something to get tangled up in.
Twelve bars, Bessie, Billie, Janis, piano, steel guitars.
Oh, Eddie Manet, he’s got the blues,
got paint on his shoes, done paid his dues,
oh, Eddie Manet, he’s got the blues,
yeah, he got them blues so bad . . .
~ from Gold (Cascade Books, 2013)
Whoever can see through all fear
Will always be safe
The Tao Te Ching
It’s a day of brilliant blue, lightly smudged
with chalky clouds. In the larger world, there’s
fracking, climate change, industrial sludge.
But here, none of this can reach us. Who cares
about the news? I’m in this lawn chair,
secure in its embrace. In the distance,
the surf of traffic, the hum of bees. Chances
are, none of us gets to live forever.
The shadow of the vulture on the lawn
cannot dispel this blue euphoria.
~ first published in Quiddity
All three poems reference seeing and perception, from the “pure blue verb” that dispels sadness in favor of spring flowers, to the suggestion that in the eye of the beholder, a work of art can engender free-flowing reverie, to the reminder that we have the power to choose what to embrace (“blue euphoria”), while living in the moment.
Ekphrastic poems like “Manet and the Sea” are always interesting because they often say more about the poet than the painter’s intent. I enjoy seeing how poets interpret visual art, and Barbara’s jazzy riff on blue gets me where I live (do I have to mention the very cool Dylan reference in the poem?). She had me tapping my toes and snapping my fingers. I got the blues!
In 2020, ‘poet as seer’ will take on added significance. What would we do without poets who seek the truth and tell it true, helping us envision a better world? Many times when I have felt off balance, a Barbara Crooker poem has set me right again. I remember to slow down, pay attention and revel in the simple beauties around me.
Do join us as often as you can this year — there is always a place at our table just for you. For now, pour yourself another cup of tea, nibble on some blueberry cream cake or fruit tart, and own the blue euphoria. Wishing you many pure blue verbs, smiling skies, and cool swings on the upbeat.
🍭THE RESIDENT PADDINGTONS
HOPE YOU SEE YOUR WAY CLEAR
THE VERY BEST TRUE BLUE YEAR! 🎷
The wonderful and talented Kat Apel is hosting the Roundup this week. Zip on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere. Happy Weekend!
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
* Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.